Friday, January 22, 2010

Making Sense of Suffering

I can't recommend this sermon series enough. In light of Haiti and anything that might be shaking your world right now, grab your Bible and let D.A. Carson discuss "where God is" in the midst of all this suffering.

Click here for the sermon series at the 2008 Omaha Bible Church conference.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good works: public or private?

Martyn Lloyd Jones settles an apparent contradiction between Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 6:1 ...
The Christian life is always a matter of balance and poise. It is a life that gives the impression of being self-contradictory. ... We read the Sermon on the Mount and we come across something like this: 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' Then we read, 'Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father which is in heaven.' And a man looking at that says, 'Well, what am I to do? If I am to do all these things in secret ... how can men know I am doing these things, and how can they possibly see this light which is shining in me?'

But, of course, this is only a superficial contradiction ... we are called to do both these things at one and the same time. The Christian is to live in such a way that men looking at him, and seeing the quality of his life, will glorify God. He must always remember at the same time that he is not to do things in order that he may attract attention to himself. He must not desire to be seen of men, he is never to be self-conscious. But, clearly, this balance is a fine and delicate one; so often we tend to go to one extreme or the other. ... But here we are called to avoid both extremes. It is a delicate life, it is a sensitive life; but if we approach it in the right way, and under the leading of the Holy Spirit, the balance can be maintained. ... Let us never forget this, the Christian at one and the same time is to be attracting attention to himself, and yet not attracting attention to himself.
From Daily Readings with Martyn Lloyd Jones (Jan 19th)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

John Piper in prison!

OK, provocative title, but I have your attention, right? John Piper answers questions from the inmates in the Angola prison.

These guys ask some very good questions about eternal security, marriage, suicide, election and more. It's great to watch Piper's animated responses. Enjoy!
HT: Luke

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And then he died

I'm reading through the Bible with D.A. Carson this year. He has a daily devotional that coincides with each reading. Here is a great quote from yesterday which discusses Gen 5.

AGAIN AND AGAIN IN THE FIFTH CHAPTER OF GENESIS, one finds the refrain, “and then he died.” So-and-so lived so many years, and then he diedand then he diedand then he died… Why the repetition?

From the beginning, God’s intention had been that the intercourse between himself and his image-bearers would be eternal: Adam and Eve were to experience eternal life with God. Their rebellion put an end to this trajectory (Gen. 3:21-22). Even if death did not fall on them immediately (Adam lived to the age of 930, according to Gen. 5:5), it was inevitable. The chapter before this table of deaths records the first murder — another death. And the three succeeding chapters (Gen. 6-8) record the Flood, in which the human race dies, save only Noah and his family. Whether by murder or by immediate divine judgment or by old age, the result is always the same: “and then he died.” As the wry contemporary expression puts it, “Life is hard, and then you die.”

In fact, by God’s just decree, death is taking hold of the human race. The life spans in Genesis 5 are extraordinary. They cannot last: more years means more evil. By Genesis 6:3, God determines to cut short the life span of his rebellious image-bearers. This decision is implemented gradually but firmly, so that by Genesis 11 the recorded ages have declined considerably, and in later records very few live longer than 120 years. But whatever the age, the final result is the same: “and then he died.”

Contemporary Western thought finds death so frightening that in polite conversation it is the last taboo. Nowadays one can chatter on about sex and finances, and never raise an eyebrow; mention death, and most people are uncomfortable at best. Even many Christians think of their faith almost exclusively in terms of what it does for them now, rather than in terms of preparing them for eternity such that it transforms how they live now.

God does not want us to shut our eyes to the effects of our sin, to the inevitability of death. Nevertheless, this chapter includes one bright exception: “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:24). It is almost as if God is showing that death is not ontologically necessary; that those who walk with God one day escape death; that even for those who die, there is hope — in God’s grace — of life beyond our inevitable death. But it is tied to a walk with God. It will take the rest of the Bible to unpack what that means.

You can sign up here to get a daily email of 'For the Love of God'. I expect I'll be posting some of these from time to time.

T Rex Christianity

This site is funny. Here's a taste ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Know any good Reformed Podcasts?

Someone on Facebook asked if anyone knew any good 'reformed' podcasts. Thought it was a great idea for a post. Here are some that come to mind (in no particular order). Please feel free to comment on this post and add your favorites!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top 10 Funny Products

We received an unsolicited Harriet Carter catalog and I must admit, it's been a lot of fun to look through. Some of these products are actually quite amazing, but here are the top 10 of the-well, ridiculous!
  • Fake Pet - "SLEEPING PUPPY is the next best thing to owning a real four-legged friend! Adorable, lifelike plush pup actually "breathes" and gently snores like a real dog. Comes with collar, bed, pet brush, adoption certificate, red canvas pet carrier, and one D battery. A cuddly, maintenance- free companion for kids ... or any pet lover!"
  • Toilet Mug - "Toilet Mug for that cup of java that's really good to the last drop! Enjoy your morning brew with this one-of-a-kind potty-shaped mug. Amusing gag coffee mug is a surefire conversation starter that'll leave 'em flushed with laughter! Holds 12 fl. oz. Ceramic."
  • Gut disguiser - "Men’s body shaper instantly gives you a slimmer, trimmer look! Compression undergarment fits invisibly under clothes as it com­fortably tightens, firms and smoothes waistline and upper torso for a leaner appearance, improved posture and better fitting shirts. Light­weight spandex/nylon. Imported."
  • Nasal cones - "Snore less, breathe easier with miracle nasal cones! Soft, flexible rubber cones fit comfortably in your nostrils at bedtime to aid breathing, reduce snoring, congestion and resulting mouth dryness. They open nasal airways naturally, are washable, re­usable, and trim to fit. You get a set of 4 in two sizes. USA made."
  • Pet tombstone - "Personalized pet monument makes a lasting tribute to one who gave you so much love and devotion. Use it to mark pet's favorite spot in your yard or garden, where so many happy hours were spent. Name and dates are engraved in this stone-look poly/resin plaque. Included ground stakes assure monument stays in place. 9¾" x 6¾" x 1" D."
  • DIY Legal Will - "Write your own Legal Will. Do-it-yourself kit gives you everything you need to write a will that is legally valid in all 50 states. Did you know that without a will, the state decides who gets what? Written by an attorney, this money-saving kit contains fact booklet on wills, easy-to-follow instructions and a fill-in-the-blanks will. Don't put it off!"
  • Haircut umbrella - "Hair Cutting Umbrella is an essential tool for the home stylist! Cape resembles an inverted umbrella to catch clippings as you trim, so neck, clothes and floor are protected. Special upturned 'lip' along outer edge contains loose hairs until youíre ready to discard them, saves you time during clean-upóno tedious sweeping or vacuuming needed! Slips over head and secures with self-close tabs; adjusts to fit neck size. Folds to store. Nylon. 22" diam."
  • Garden torch - "Garden torch clears away weeds to make yard work a snap. Lightweight, long reaching torch kills weeds down to the root, even aids in tree stump removal. Can also be used to melt icy patches on outdoor steps and walks without tedious chipping and scraping! Adjustable valve controls intensity of flame. Uses inexpensive propane cylinder from any hardware store. Nickel-plated steel and brass. 32" L."
  • Bald guy haircare - "Bald Guyz® Grooming Products protect and keep clean-cut heads looking and feeling their best. SPF 30+ Sunscreen Gel with vitamins and herbal moisturizers prevents sunburn, dryness and damage. The sweat-resistant, quick-drying formula won’t leave a sticky residue so it’s great for those with thinning hair, too. Perfect for face, neck and head. Gentle Moisture Gel calms and soothes minor skin irritations and razor burn. Apply after shaving to restore skin’s balance. Each product is 4 fl. oz. Head Wipes (set of 16) clean off perspiration without leaving head shiny or drying skin. Keep them in a glove compartment or gym bag as a quick refresher. For all skin types. Made in USA"
  • Tootpick vudu doll - "Toothpick Holder Man will be the talk of the party! Just place him next to your appetizers, fruit or cheese cubes, and your guests will do the rest. This quirky toothpick holder is 5” long and is made of washable vinyl. Toothpicks not included."

About Me

Here is my testimony: mike